Public Release: 

Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Workshop

Media Advisory

National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

November 25, 2003--A workshop on Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology will be held December 3-5, 2003, at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia. Media are invited to attend the sessions where leading scientists, engineers, business representatives, ethicists, lawyers, government policymakers and others will exchange ideas and visions.

The purposes of the workshop are to (1) review what is known about the current and potential implications of nanotechnology research and development for society, including the economy, quality of life, national security, public policy, education, and a variety of ethical, historical, governance and philosophical issues, and (2) generate ideas for an agenda for future research and infrastructure investments to improve understanding of potential implications and to steer the nanotechnology research program toward socially beneficial outcomes.

The workshop is sponsored by member agencies of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee, Committee on Technology, of the President's National Science and Technology Council, through the auspices of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), and will be hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Reporters should register by calling Cate Alexander at 703-292-4399 or e-mailing her at Upon checking in at the security desk, located inside the 9th and Stuart Streets entrance to the NSF headquarters, reporters will receive badges allowing them to proceed to the meeting rooms. Plenary sessions will occur on the first day of the workshop, Dec. 3, beginning at 1 p.m., with subsequent days devoted to breakout discussions.

PLEASE NOTE: Participation in the workshop is limited due to fire regulations. An adjoining room with live video of the proceedings will be available should overflow space be necessary.

Details at a glance:

What: Workshop on Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
When: Dec. 3, 2003 (beginning at 1 p.m.) through Dec. 5, 2003
Where: National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA
(for detailed directions and transportation options see )

Established in 2001, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office is the secretariat to the Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Committee. The NNCO is the point of contact on federal nanotechnology activities for government organizations, academia, industry, professional societies, foreign organizations, and others to exchange technical and programmatic information. In addition, the NNCO develops and makes available printed and other materials as directed by the NSET Subcommittee as well as maintains the National Nanotechnology Initiative Web site. The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a federal R&D program established to coordinate the multi-agency efforts in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.

For more information, see the NNI website at, and the NSF report from the previous workshop on societal implications (March 2001) at


National Science and Technology Council
Committee on Technology
Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET)
National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)

Cate Alexander
Communications Director
National Nanotechnology Coordination Office
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Stafford II, Rm. 405
Arlington, VA 22230

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